I loved this book and would recommend it to others. It is surprisingly relevant to anyone's life. Quotes are wise words from ages past, uttered so succinctly that much can be learned from these words.
The Author says a good quote can inspire, transcend, counter negative thoughts, help us dream, allow us to escape, validate our thinking and beliefs, and offer basic truths. Indeed, the quotes, proverbs, and sayings Jonathan Wunrow has collected from people of all kinds during his years of mountain climbing experience, can translate to life itself. He makes the point of saying that they are meaningless unless embodied in habit, and also provides tips on how we can do this.
Just read long enough to find one or two quotes substituting the word mountain climbing for whatever your passion is, that connect to where your head is at the moment, or randomly choose a page and start reading. Wunrow reflects with telling quotes on nature, on living in the moment, on taking risks, what paths in life to take, of managing fear, of death and family sacrifice.
Wunrow's message in this book is to live in the present: He tells us we live in a world of distractions of technology, we are constantly barraged by information that previous generations never had, and we feel we can't live without. It keeps us focused on things outside of ourselves, outside of our control, and outside of the present moment, distracted by meaningless things.
If we teach ourselves to be happy and content in this moment, we learn the secret of living a happy and content life. To do this, we need to create a space of inner calm in this moment and the next. This moment is all we have. We cannot live in the past of the future.
Henry Miller wrote " The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome. indescribably magnificent world in itself." What would happen if we were truly attentive to all the people who crossed one's path?
"So the time to live is now. The time to love is now. The time to travel to new places is now. The time to risk is now. The time to say "I"m sorry" to someone you've hurt is now. The time to give away what you have to someone who needs it more is now. The time to hug your spouse is now, and to tell your daughter or won you love them is now. To focus on the past or the future in the presence of a challenging and dangerous moment, can be fatal. The same can be said about life."
We're captive to the past and the future. We're so distracted and that's why a lot of people are unhappy. One of the addictive aspects of climbing is that it allows you to be in the present moment in ways that are impossible in ordinary life. Jim Wickwire
Accepting things as they are is very different from allowing them to remain that way. Don't confuse acceptance with acquiescence, inertia or surrender. There are sometimes in our life when acceptance is cause for inaction, and there are times when taking actions is the only way to accept a situation and move on.
Furthermore, he gives us advice on decision making:
How do you know which life paths to take... Do you take the easiest and most comfortable route. Or do you take the road less traveled, hoping that it will make all the difference? Do you leap before you look? Do you follow your heart/gut? Do you follow your family's advice and remain oblivious to your heart's desire. Or do you follow social convention or wait so long to make a touch decision that is ultimately made for you as the other options disappear?
IN trying to find your path, ask yourself a few question: What is is that you are passionate about? What do you love to do? Waht makes you smile? Waht motivates you to get u pin the moring? If you aren't sure about the answers to these questions, don't worry about it or put pressure on your self. Plenty of us have spent a good part of our lives not sure about the answers. If you aren't sure, take the time to consider the less complex questions:
What can you do to make the person sitting next to you smile? What can can you do to make the world or the street you're walking down a better place ?
What is the one thing you can do today that will reduce the suffering in this world by just a little tiny bit? Answering any one of these question can help you start to find your path.
Life is a series of moments and actions, so focusing too much on goals and endpoints can cause a lot of unneeded misery along the way. The only control we really have in this world is over what we choose to do in this moment.
For me, the key to living a self directed life, and finding one's path, is being willing to make mistakes and to try something knowing that you might fail. It is falling down and getting back up only to fall down and get back up again. Risk takers and adventurers understand these things. The fear of making a mistake or making the wrong choice can be paralyzing for some. Often the biggest barrier to making a decision is our fear of the unknowns that will follow and of messing something up if we try, or facing the reality that the path we've been on, may not longer be the right one or the best one for us.
Chouinard once said that "sometimes progress involves making a 180 degree turn and then taking one step forward"
People are stuck in dead end jobs who dare don't quit, because they need the money, others feel trapped in unsatisfying relations, but are too scared to leave, that often the simple act of identifying options helps us feel less stuck, less trapped and more in control of our situation.
Ultimately, the quest for purpose, for finding our path in life is a personal journey. There is a Zen saying that goes"If you're born clumsy it's not bad. IF you are born clever it's not good. The proper way to serve tea is to find your own way. Traveler, there is no path. You make your path as you travel.
My favorite quote in the book was one from Lemony Snicket:
It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as your try to readjust the way our thought of things.
Which quote will be your favourite. Read a few random pages and find it.
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